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Sharp will pay $120 million in fines for price fixing

When the economy around the world first starting showing signs of serious trouble some firms took illicit measures to preserve their income streams. These illicit methods involved price fixing and one of the high profile cases of price fixing came from the LCD industry.

DailyTech reported in November that three of the largest LCD manufacturers in the world -- Sharp, LG, and Chunghwa Picture Tubes -- had all pled guilty to price fixing in the LCD industry. At the time, the fines levied against the three firms totaled $548 million with Sharp footing the lion's share of the fine at $400 million.

The U.S. Justice Department has announced that Sharp and LG will be sentenced in mid-December. Reuters reports that LG will be sentenced on December 15 and will pay the $400 million fine previously reported. Sharp will be sentenced on December 16 and will be fined $120 million. The exact amount of the fine levied against Sharp was unknown when DailyTech first reported fines were levied.

Sentencing for the two firms is set for the U.S. district court in San Francisco. No mention has been made on the fines that the third company embroiled in the scandal -- Chunghwa Picture Tubes -- will have to pay or when sentencing will take place. All three firms are said to be cooperating with European and Asian antitrust authorities.

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What exactly is price fixing?
By Blood1 on 12/10/2008 3:12:37 PM , Rating: 2
What exactly is price fixing and how does it hurt the consumer when the consumer see's 2 tv's one cheaper but with same specs go with cheaper. They are just hurting them selves right?

RE: What exactly is price fixing?
By Shodan on 12/10/2008 3:25:36 PM , Rating: 3
Grab'd this definition off google ( )

Price Fixing – When companies conspire to set prices and thus control or interfere with free market competition, they have violated antitrust laws. Price fixing is considered a criminal offense.

RE: What exactly is price fixing?
By quiksilvr on 12/10/2008 3:55:31 PM , Rating: 2
I knew something's been going on for years. Ain't no way that after 3-4 years a 32" LCD TV is on average $500 consistently.

RE: What exactly is price fixing?
By Targon on 12/11/2008 7:29:27 AM , Rating: 2
The quality of the products have improved in that time though, and this is a key issue that many people forget. Size isn't the key to why a price may remain the same over time. Cost of manufacture, improved resolution, better refresh rates, and even faster processing will normally raise the price a bit, even as the other components may drive the price down.

No one should really accept a 720p panel when 1080p is what you want/need for native resolutions for Blu-Ray in my opinion. Yes, it would be cheaper, but at the same time, you will want to replace it much sooner. 720p may be better than SD for watching TV, but it won't be as good as the 1080i that most systems provide, and if you are going to 1080i, why not spend a little more for 1080p?

RE: What exactly is price fixing?
By Ordr on 12/10/08, Rating: -1
RE: What exactly is price fixing?
By tastyratz on 12/10/2008 3:37:28 PM , Rating: 2
well lets say that tv is 800, and the other tv is 900. You will happily buy the tv for 800 thinking your getting a deal but your not. The price fixing might be where for example the manufacturers decided to all agree to sell their panels to tv makers for $400 extra, raising tv costs by 400. No reason but to corner the market and inflate prices. since together they are where everyone seems to get their panels its essentially a monopoly. Instead of competition driving price down they artificially raise the average pricing.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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